KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal has lauded the Sabah Ann Koai Association for promoting tourism activities and also business, trade and investment opportunities in Sabah through the hosting of the Malaysia Ann Koai Clan Convention, which has brought in about 300 clan members from Peninsular Malaysia and overseas to the State.
He said the association has organized four of the seven Malaysia Ann Koai clan conventions since 1994.
This year, he noted, the convention brought in about 200 clan members from Peninsular Malaysia, and more than half were here for the first time in Sabah, and another 100 clan members were from overseas such as China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and Sumatra, Indonesia.
“This convention has truly fulfilled its purpose and objective of promoting unity, friendship and goodwill among clan members. To Sabah Ann Koai Association, you are doing your part to promote tourism activities and also business, trade and investment opportunities in Sabah.
“The Sabah State Government will support every effort that complements the government in achieving its mission and vision,” Shafie said in his speech, which was delivered by the Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew, at the Sabah Ann Koai Association 25th Anniversary Celebration cum seventh Malaysia Ann Koai Clan Convention Gala Dinner here on Sunday.
He said the Sabah Ann Koai Association has come a long way since its inception in 1994 to meet its key objectives of serving its members and caring for their welfare besides promoting unity, friendship and goodwill within the association and society at large.
“This is important to maintain peace and harmony in our beloved multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious Sabah,” Shafie said.
Meanwhile, Sabah Ann Koai Association president Datuk Tan Kim Beng estimated that the event has generated RM1 million worth of business opportunities in Sabah in terms of hotel accommodation, flights and other services.
He said, the 300 clan members from Peninsular Malaysia and overseas flew in on 30 flights and were taken on a tour around Kota Kinabalu for the past four days in 10 buses.
Aside from tourism, Tan said, the event has promoted business and investment opportunities in Sabah.
“We are complementing the State Government’s effort to make Sabah a better place to live and do business.”
Also present were Assistant Finance Minister Kenny Chua, Vice Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu Wu Xiaoqing, and Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) president Tan Sri Dr T.C. Goh, and other prominent Chinese community leaders.